Dan's Take

Workload Analysis In the Cloud

Virtual Instruments introduces 'WorkloadCentral.'

It's been quite a while, but I recently had a chance to speak with Len Rosenthal, CMO of Virtual Instruments. We spoke about how the company is doing and about WorkloadCentral, a new Virtual Instruments product.

First off, why do companies name products in this way? Cramming words together and capitalizing letters at random isn't a way to create a memorable brand. While taking notes, I had to remember that "WorkloadCentral" didn't have a space between Workload and Central each and every time. I finally gave up and just abbreviated it "WC."

Virtual Instruments Background
Virtual Instruments was founded in 2008 and recently (April 2016) merged with one of its partners, Load DynamiX. The company enjoys over 450 customers, 44 of which are in the Fortune 100.

An examination of the customer base shows interest in Virtual Instrument's workload analytics, correlation and monitoring, or in its data collection capabilities. Others were interested in Load DynamiX's ability to generate automated testing via use of synthetic workloads generated by Load DynamiX's enterprise software, and its workload generation appliance server. Rosenthal said that increasingly, customers are choosing to use technology from both sides of the company.

What Is WorkloadCentral?
WorkloadCentral is a free, cloud-based analytics platform that allows customers to understand, analyze, create and share workloads. Among its offerings:

  • Free workload analysis and creation
  • Advanced workload analytics
  • Workloads for validation, testing and benchmarking
  • Workload Library, community and discussion forum

The aim is to make it easier for customers to better understand the overall impact of their own unique mix of workloads, compare what they're doing with best practices available in the library, and learn more about how others capture and use data their workloads are generating.

Dan's Take: Know Thy Workloads
I'm reminded of something attributed to Plato, "Know thyself" when thinking about monitoring and management of an enterprise's portfolio of workloads. How many enterprises really know the impact of each and every workload and all of their supporting software and services?

While some organizations go to this trouble, many just do their best to keep track of overall usage of processing, memory, networking and storage; then leave the details to take care of themselves. The only time they delve into the details is when something goes wrong.

Even then, they typically just pull together a "tiger team" of specialists, throw them into a conference room, toss in pizza and soft drinks, and keep them there until a solution to the current performance problems or workload failure can be developed. Whatever learning that hastily-put-together team gained is relegated to the team notes, and might not go anywhere else.

It's clear in today's cost-conscious environment that enterprises believe that they're saving money by not having a set of monitoring and management processes in place. In the end, however, they end up losing whenever a problem arises. Virtual Instruments, along with their competitors, can help.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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